For the haters of the Affordable Care Act: When are Republicans going to come up with a viable Republican alternative to the Republican health care plan that Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed?
About 300,000 of the lowest-income Missourians will not be covered by the Affordable Care Act because they were to be covered by Medicaid expansion. Aside from the self-evident premise of human dignity and equality for all, there are the following temporal facts:
• Medicaid expansion is fully funded by the federal government for the first three years. During 2014-2021, it would bring billions of dollars to Missouri.
• By accepting the federal funds, Missouri would cover 300,000 residents and save millions of taxpayer dollars currently spent inefficiently treating uninsured people in emergency rooms. These savings could be spent on public safety, education and infrastructure, or even to offset the matching funds payout.
• Without Medicaid expansion, hospitals could lose millions of dollars in funding, putting many hospitals at risk of closure, leaving families with even fewer options and more overcrowded hospitals.
To the Jan. 23 letter writer who thanked President Barack Obama for his $276 health-insurance premium instead of the $2,000 he previously paid (and to others like him). Your thanks are misdirected.
You sound as though you think President Obama reached into his own pockets to make up the difference. Well, he didn’t.
He reached into the pockets of medical and/or insurance providers, who pass that cost along to other people, or into the pockets of your neighbors, friends and family to make up the difference by placing a higher tax burden on them or into the pockets of our kids and grandkids, who will be saddled with the overwhelming and immoral debt burden being placed upon them, or, most likely, into the pockets of all these people.
If you’re going to give thanks, at least thank the right people. You should thank the people whose pockets are being picked, not the one who’s picking the pockets.
As a longtime supporter of our Kansas City Symphony, and even when it was the Philharmonic, I wish to express my appreciation for the marvelous music we in Kansas City are privileged to enjoy.
Recently, I was fortunate to hear Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. The symphony’s interpretation was inspiring, and the music stirred the soul. Thank you again for your presence in our city.
Some folks believe we are violating other folks’ Christian principles when we denounce people who are bigots, such as in the recent controversy over comments made about gays by “Duck Dynasty” reality A&E TV star Phil Robertson.
Coming from a straight traditional-marriage Christian guy, I feel that when we don’t set people right about bigotry and hatred, then we are violating Christ’s principles. During his earthly ministry, he taught us to accept and love one another without condition.
Bigotry and hatred are just as sinful as people liking and marrying the same sex. Think about it. What would Jesus do?
Castro Valley, Mo.
Morass of sleaze
Just when I think Kansas legislators cannot sink any deeper in the morass of sleaze, I’m proved wrong.
I can easily imagine this backroom conversation taking place in a secret meeting of far-right Kansas legislators:
“It looks like if we want to legally drug test welfare recipients, we have to allow ourselves to be drug tested as well. Oh sure, we’ll spend much more money than we’ll save, but I believe we all agree we don’t want to miss this opportunity to demonize the poor.
“Does anyone have ideas on how to escape this conundrum?”
Another lawmaker would say: “I do. We’ll allow ourselves to be drug tested, but at the same time we’ll not provide any way to penalize those of us who fail such tests. Hell, HIPPA will even prevent our names from being published.”
“Excellent,” said the first Kansas legislator. “Meeting adjourned.”
Every vote counts
My Advanced Placement Government class has been learning about the voting system in the United States, and I was astonished to learn that only a little more than 50 percent of the people who are eligible to vote actually cast ballots in presidential elections. Not only is that very sad, it makes our country look very lazy and stupid.
Americans who do not vote cannot complain about not liking how our government works or how it’s run because they have the opportunity every four years to help change it. We also learned there are five types of people who don’t vote.
They all seem to think the government doesn’t care about them and isn’t helping them. These statements are all true.
However, how can the government help every individual? It’s impossible.
The only way you can be personally helped by the government is to be a part of the government yourself. To help the entire country and others like you, however, is to vote.
If you want to see this country change, you have to voice your opinion. Please vote whenever you are given the chance.
How else will this country get out of the rut it’s in?
The University of Missouri rape cover-up sounds like a page out of Penn State’s playbook or the Catholic Church’s. Rule No. 1: Protect the institution.
Unfair tax giveaways
Missouri lawmakers are back in Jefferson City with a jam-packed agenda. One issue that has the potential to dominate in 2014 is the issue that dominated 2013 — tax relief.
That fact came into sharp focus over the last month. Just weeks before Christmas, the Missouri Legislature decided to play Santa to Boeing with nearly $2 billion in tax incentives — that is your money — to attract about 8,000 jobs.
The state’s plan did not work. Boeing may decide to manufacture its 777X in Washington state rather than bringing those jobs to Missouri.
But the Legislature’s quest for the Boeing project produced something remarkable: It put practically every legislator in the state, including many who opposed last year’s tax cut, on the record as supporting a tax cut as a way to boost growth.
If the Missouri House can vote 127-20 for a handout for one company, shouldn’t those 127 legislators support tax relief for the rest of Missouri’s entrepreneurs? If not, what makes Boeing more deserving of tax relief than the family businesses in our communities?
Expect those questions to be answered in the coming months.
3 equal branches
Our government is dysfunctional
On this we can agree
Three branches separate but equal
Now this I’ve yet to see
The executive makes its own laws
The legislative couldn’t care less
With all their inner squabbles
No wonder it’s a mess
Judicial’s wacky rulings
Challenged, and then overturned
The different levels dueling
Hung up on a single word
And what of we the nation?
Caught in their tug of war
I guess our one salvation
They can’t hurt us anymore
This year we have the midterms
To right our ship of state
With two more years and counting
To determine our final fate
Our founders silently watching
To see if we return
To what they had intended
Or will we ever learn?
A country so divided
Was never meant to be
It started with three branches
So blind they will not see.